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Categories: Parenting


For the fourth straight year, Active Healthy Kids Canada has assessed the key indicators and determined that Canadian children are just not active enough.

Canadian children and youth have received another D on their report card for physical activity.  For the fourth straight year, Active Healthy Kids Canada has assessed the key indicators and determined that Canadian children are just not active enough.  A grade of D means that “insufficient appropriate physical activity opportunities and programs are available to the majority of Canadian youth,” according to this charitable organization.  Moreover, a full 90% are not meeting physical activity guidelines.

 

Our consistent D grade for four years in a row means that “definitive and measurable progress is not yet fully evident,” according to Active Healthy Kids Canada.  This trend demonstrates the need for sustained and increased efforts.

 

The focus of this year’s report is on screen time and physical activity.  Children of all backgrounds are spending too much time in front of screens.  We see this pattern even in preschool children, in whom high screen times are now being observed.  Worryingly, screen time is predictive of being overweight and of future obesity.

 

Active video games like Wii pose a dilemma for parents and others who have an interest in keeping kids healthy.  While games like these are an improvement over completely sedentary screen time, they cannot give the same benefits as genuine physical activity, specialists in the field say.

 

“There’s no substitute for natural, healthy play,” says Carmella Gelgor, one of the founders of Sportball.  Sportball teaches non-competitive sports skills to young children ages 1 to 8 with its own age-appropriate and fun methodology.

 

Gelgor compares children’s response to television and video games, which take children’s minds into a different zone, to the “free and natural” mind space of sports which does not require an external source for stimulation.

 

 

Active Healthy Kids Canada provides recommendations on reducing screen time, for parents, educators, physicians and others.  For these recommendations and the full 2008 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, go to www.activehealthykids.ca.  For more information about Sportball, including locations and schedules, go to www.sportball.ca.

 

 

 




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